Greta and Me Part 5

GRETA AND ME – Part Five

Judge Greene set June 12th as my sentencing date, so I flew back to D.C. on June 11th. My mother met me at D.C.’s Washington National Airport, and we spent the night at Aunt Josephine’s house, who lived just outside of Washington, DC. The next morning, when we arrived at the courthouse, I rendezvoused with Greta who was standing outside the courtroom. She had a distressed look on her face. As I had feared, the government decided to pull a dirty trick at the eleventh hour. Shortly before my sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Strasser filed a memorandum with Judge Greene asserting that I should be sentenced above the guidelines, because I hadn’t screened the escorts I employed for HIV, and thus had perpetrated untold death and misery.

So I was extremely apprehensive as I followed Greta into the courtroom to face Judge Greene. After I expressed contrition for my crimes, Judge Greene launched into a protracted diatribe about the downward departure that had been proposed for my “substantial assistance.”  “Why propose this departure?” Judge Greene asked. “I can’t recall a single case in which the government has asked for departure before just because somebody pleaded guilty and got others to plead . . . I don’t think it’s warranted. . .”

My sentencing had suddenly taken on the surreal proportions of a horrific nightmare, and Judge Greene had yet to address Strasser’s memorandum about Henry Vinson being the progenitor of the HIV virus in Washington, D.C. Judge Greene asked Strasser if he were aware of anyone who had contracted HIV from an escort whom I employed, and Strasser couldn’t mention a single individual, which demonstrated that his memorandum to Judge Greene had been unfounded. Judge Greene then sentenced me to 63 months in a federal prison, and he ruled that I be immediately remanded into custody. As the U.S. marshals escorted me out of the courtroom, my mother was weeping, and Aunt Josephine was comforting her.

With Greta as my attorney, the government accomplished all of its objectives. I didn’t utter a word to the media about the mindboggling, illicit malfeasance I had witnessed, so the government saved itself from a scandal of epic proportions. Judge Greene also gave me the consolation prize of 63 months in a federal prison.

I find rather interesting that the some of the individuals who played an instrumental role in either ensuring or abetting my silence, especially Greta Greta and Jay Stephens, the U.S. Attorney for the District of DC, have experienced remarkable upward mobility. Greta has experienced a sharp upwardly mobile trajectory since I was initially imprisoned. Shortly after Judge Harold Greene banished me to federal prison, Van Susteren started co-hosting CNN’s Burden of Proof, and then she hosted CNN’s The Point with Greta Van Susteren. Greta made her vaunted leap to FOX in 2002, where she’s been transformed into a media superstar, hosting On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. I’m slightly perplexed that FOX, a news outlet that caters to religious and conservative Americans, would elevate a Scientologist to its pantheon of superstars.

U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens, whose office oversaw the corrupt grand jury that walloped me with a potential sentence of 295 years, was appointed United States Associate Attorney General by President George W. Bush in 2001. But Associate Attorney General proved to be a two-year pit stop for Stephens, because in 2002 he became a vice president of the Raytheon Corporation, the world’s fifth largest defense contractor, and also the world’s leading producer of guided missiles.